During his days as superintendent of the Ripon Unified School District, Leo Zuber recalled catching the Fourth of July fireworks show from the district office.
The pyrotechnic displays were fired off at nearby Stouffer Field.
“I would see burning cardboard (from the fallout debris) on Acacia Street,” he said at last Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting.
With plans of a three-day event at the Mistlin Sports Complex, Zuber, who is the now the mayor of Ripon, had concerns about the fallout area being too close to the planned Midway carnival rides.
“It would pose a liability and safety issue,” he said.
Zuber was rest assured by staff of the precautions.
Director of Public Works Ted Johnston said “state law requires a certain distance from the launch site to a pedestrian area – for every one-inch of a shell, it’s 100 feet.
“So if the shell is six inches, then 600 feet is the required distance.”
The carnival will be 600 to 800 feet from the launch site.
City Attorney Tom Terpstra added that Midway has it in the contract that the all rides would be halted during the 9 p.m. fireworks show that Saturday.
Council tabled approving the Midway contract at the previous meeting, requesting for representative from the carnival folks.
As it turned out, a representative wasn’t necessary.
“Midway did respond and agreed to the contract changes,” said Terpstra. “As staff, we’ve comfortable moving forward with the signing of the contract.”
Council voted 5-0 to authorize Zuber to sign the contract with Midway for the Fourth of July carnival.
For Midway, there is no charge to the city for the carnival.
The carnival company would provide 30 percent of all pre-sale and tickets sold at the gate to go to the city.
The city would be required to provide a 500 by 500 feet area for the carnival along with water service for concessions.
The carnival company, in addition, would provide all restrooms and perform clean-up at the completion of the three-day event planned for July 3 through 5.
As for financial impact, it was unclear the amount of revenue that will be generated being that this is the first year of adding the carnival to the Fourth of July weekend event.
Staff also factored the expenses needed for additional staff time – police department services during the carnival and public works for their time to assist in the setup – and estimated $10,000 to $15,000.
Council, meanwhile, can choose to either pay this expense from the general fund or use the revenue from the carnival to offset the city’s expenses.